December 11th, 2010
December 11th, 2010
According to Forbes columnist Andy Greenberg, leakers will be able to submit information to the site, but the site won't publish it. Instead, the leakers will name who – such as specific media organizations or watchdog groups – can have access to the information, Forbes reported. Those users will make their own decisions about fact-checking, editing and publishing.
That will allow the exposure of the information without the same legal questions that WikiLeaks faces, one of OpenLeaks' founders, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, told Forbes.
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter said OpenLeaks' founders wanted to continue to expose secrets but were unhappy with Assange's methods.
"As a short-term goal, this is about completing the technical infrastructure and ensuring that the organization continues to be democratically governed by all its members, rather than limited to one group or individual," one anonymous staff member told the paper.
Assange, the Australian founder and editor of WikiLeaks, is being held in England over Swedish sex-crime allegations unrelated to the WikiLeaks controversy.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday he has authorized "significant" actions related to a criminal investigation of WikiLeaks.
December 11th, 2010
The Huffington Post Jason Linkins
The Huffington Post
Others may disagree, but I don't read Paul's remarks as a defense of Julian Assange specifically -- Assange is only mentioned three times during the five minute oration. This was perhaps wise, given the fact that Assange is facing charges unrelated to WikiLeaks abroad, and has become a fractious enough figure within the WikiLeaks organization itself that internecine battles have broken out, with one faction preparing to open their own site, "OpenLeaks." But it's certainly a defense of WikiLeaks in principle, and whistleblowers in general -- Paul spends more time discussing Daniel Ellsberg than he does Assange.
On balance, Paul's speech primarily touches on themes that he's advanced throughout his career: his antipathy to neo-conservative empire-building, the lies that precipitated the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the primacy of individual liberty, and the value of dissent. WikiLeaks simply gives Paul's convictions some urgency.WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.
There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did. It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination.
But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn't the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.
The New York Times, as a results of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents. The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional record by Senator Mike Gravel, with no charges of any kind being made of breaking any national security laws. Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam war, and argued for its prolongation were outraged. But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack. which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.
Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were never threatened by weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda in Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information. Any information which challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and the supporters of these unnecessary wars. Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal of our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire, and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.
Questions to consider:
Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?
Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?
Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?
Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?
Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?
Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?
Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?
Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?
Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?
Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised 'Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.' I yield back the balance of my time.
Most discussed At Huff
Most discussed At Huff
December 11th, 2010
"Dems show signs of abandoning Obama elsewhere after frustration with tax deal"
Incensed over President Obama’s tax compromise, House Democratic leaders are showing signs of abandoning the administration and going their own way on critical issues such as national security.
In a striking move, the Appropriations Committee late Wednesday attached a provision to a $1.1 trillion resolution to keep the government funded next year that would prevent Obama from spending any funds to try terrorism suspects in civilian court instead of military commissions.The language would essentially prevent the closing of the detainee prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.
Some House Democrats viewed the move as an act of defiance and a direct demonstration of just how furious the caucus is with Obama’s decision to work with Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
But many other Democrats, including Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), a member of the defense appropriations subcommittee, said they didn’t even know the provision was included.
Moran’s anger with the president boiled over in a short interview Thursday with The Hill about the provision and the tax debate held shortly after the Democratic Caucus voted to reject Obama’s tax-cut deal.
“This is a lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” fumed Moran (D-Va.) “I don’t know where the f*** Obama is on this or anything else. They’re AWOL.”
Most Democrats didn’t know the provision was included in the continuing resolution until the rule for the bill hit the floor, when liberal members began defecting in large numbers. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a leading voice on national security issues, and the four top Democrats on the Judiciary Committee found out during the vote on the rule, Moran said.
At one point, the rule governing the bill was hanging by just one vote while Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rushed around the floor doing damage control.
Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, with the help of congressional Democrats, had previously beaten back any attempt to prevent detainees from being tried in civilian courts, arguing that they needed flexibility in deciding where to try the terrorist suspects.
Republicans, who have long opposed closing Guantánamo Bay, were stunned by what appeared to be a 180-degree turn by House Democratic leaders on the issue.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said Democrats realized that they were losing on the issue of closing Guantánamo Bay as poll after poll showed the idea was unpopular with the majority of Americans.
“[House Democratic leaders] wanted to get out in front and take credit for it,” King said in an interview. “This really was a sneak attack. By the time I got on the floor last night people were realizing it was in there and there was a lot of panic going on.”
Pelosi’s office did not return a request for comment.
Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said he didn’t agree with the provision but thinks the majority of the Democratic Caucus opposes the administration’s efforts to shutter the detainee facility.
“That particular provision is not a good idea because it ties the president’s hands,” said Van Hollen. “But I think the majority of the caucus supports it.”
In fact, in May the House Armed Services Committee unanimously approved a defense authorization bill that banned spending money to build or modify any facility inside the United States to house Guantánamo detainees.
Holder on Thursday called on the Senate majority and minority leaders to strip away the provision in the continuing resolution passed last night.
He called the move an unprecedented grab of executive authority by Congress.
”We have been unable to identify any parallel … in the history of our nation in which Congress has intervened to prohibit the prosecution of particular persons or crimes,” he wrote.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the intelligence committee, has supported Obama’s efforts to shut down the prison facility in Cuba in the past, but hesitated when asked what she thought of the House move to add it to the continuing resolution.
“I don’t think it’s a necessary provision,” she said. “I don’t know why it was included. I need to get to the root of it.”
Chris Anders, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the decision to add the provision to the spending bill seemed like it was very tightly held and caught the administration flat-footed.
“It came as somewhat of a surprise to the administration,” he said. “They did not make a comment on it until the Justice Department came out with a letter this afternoon.”
House Democrats may have been feeling added pressure on the issue since the director of national intelligence issued a recidivism report to Congress earlier this week, which said five of the 69 detainees transferred to other countries form Guantanamo Bay by the Obama administration are believed to have rejoined terrorist groups.
The vast majority of the 598 detainees released from the prison since it was opened in 2002 were transferred under the Bush administration, either to their home countries or to other nations. In all, 150 detainees, or 25 percent, are confirmed or believed to have rejoined the fight, the report said.
More From The Hill
December 10th, 2010
Gordon Brown was dismissed as an “abysmal” prime minister by the US embassy in London within a year of taking office, lurching from “political disaster to disaster”
Ed Balls was branded "dull and charmless" by US diplomats assessing Labour's leadership contenders, while Harriet Harman was called a "policy lightweight" and Ed Miliband was left out of the picture altogether.
President Hamid Karzai suggested British forces were “not up to the task” of securing Helmand province, with other Afghan officials suggesting our soldiers were “not ready to fight as actively as American soldiers”.
American military commanders said that Britain repeatedly had failed to secure its part of Helmand province in Afghanistan, blaming them for the high levels of violence in Sangin
American diplomats were scathing about the Mexican army, revealing "real concern" that the country was unfit to combat drug trafficking
The US was concerned about the prospect of Argentina taking military action in retaliation for British companies exploring the Falkland Islands for oil in 2009
Silvio Berlusconi’s “nefarious connection” with Vladimir Putin has allegedly allowed him to profit “handsomely” from hugely lucrative energy deals, according to American diplomats
:: See our previous daily round-ups: